The 11 Killed in Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Were Spouses, Grandparents, Brothers, and More

by San Eli News

On October 27, members of a Pittsburgh synagogue were subjected to hate and horror as a 46-year-old suspect is accused of opening fire during a Saturday service.

Eleven people died as a result of the shooting, and more were left injured.


Among the dead were an elderly married couple, brothers, and friends. Here are their names, as NPR reports:

Rose Mallinger:

Mallinger was 97 years old. As Chuck Diamond, a former rabbi at Tree of Life, told NPR that despite being in her 90s, she was one of their youngest members “in terms of spirit”:

“Rose was wonderful.”

Daniel Stein:

Stein, 71, was known for his kind and helpful nature. As his nephew, Steven Halle, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

“He was always willing to help anybody. He was somebody that everybody liked, very dry sense of humor and recently had a grandson who loved him.”

He added:

“This is going to be a horrible loss for the baby, growing up without a grandfather. We’re still trying to get everything together with my aunt and my cousins. It’s really hard right now.”

Melvin Wax:

While talking with the Associated Press, Wax’s friend, Myron Snider, remembered some of the jokes they would exchange after services as well as the 88-year-old’s kind spirit:

“He was such a kind, kind person. When my daughters were younger, they would go to him, and he would help them with their federal income tax every year. Never charged them.

He and I used to, at the end of services, try to tell a joke or two to each other. Most of the time they were clean jokes. Most of the time. I won’t say all the time. But most of the time.”

Snider added that he was “just a sweet, sweet guy.”

Jerry Rabinowitz:

Rabinowitz was a physician to many, including Tribune-Review reporter Ben Schmitt.

Schmitt wrote about Rabinowitz:

Two years ago, my father fell ill during a business trip in India, victimized by a gastrointestinal bug that strikes many travelers.

Alarmed and 8,000 miles from his Pittsburgh home, he called his doctor, Jerry Rabinowitz. Dr. Rabinowitz, who practiced family medicine in a small, cozy office in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood, quickly returned the call.

My dad’s trip was far from over. He had to endure. Dr. Rabinowitz called him on his cell phone daily for the remainder of my dad’s trip.

Schmitt’s father said of Dr. Rabinowitz, personally:

“He was a really remarkable guy in everything he did. Every time I would see him, he would do the exam and he would then take me into his office and we talked. There was no rush to get out of his office. It was like I was the only patient he had — and I know that’s not true.”

Cecil Rosenthal and David Rosenthal:

Cecil, 59, and David, 54, were brothers. The brothers reportedly struggled with certain disabilities. Cecil was a greeter at Tree of Life.

Raye Coffey, a family neighbor, said of the brothers:

“Cecil was always a big brother. He was very warm and very loving. Whenever he would see us, he would always sayHi, Coffeys!’

David was quieter. But both were … to die like this is horrendous.”

Chris Schopf — who ran ACHIEVA’s residential program, which both Cecil and David were members of — said the brothers never missed a Saturday morning service. He continued in a statement:

The ACHIEVA family is devastated at the loss of two well-respected members of our community. Two extraordinary men, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, were victims of the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Cecil and David had a love for life and for those around them. As long-standing recipients of ACHIEVA’s residential and employment services, they were as much a part of the ACHIEVA family as they were their beloved neighborhood of Squirrel Hill.

They loved life. They loved their community. They spent a lot of time at the Tree of Life, never missing a Saturday. “If they were here they would tell you that is where they were supposed to be,” said Chris Schopf, Vice President, Residential Supports, ACHIEVA.

Chris added, “Cecil’s laugh was infectious. David was so kind and had such a gentle spirit. Together, they looked out for one another. They were inseparable. Most of all, they were kind, good people with a strong faith and respect for everyone around.”

Our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy to the Rosenthal family, and to all who were affected by the tragedy at Tree of Life.

Bernice Simon and Sylvan Simon:

Both in their 80s, Bernice and Sylvan had been married since December 1956. According to NPR, the couple wed at Tree of Life 61 years ago. They were just over a month away from celebrating their 62nd anniversary.

Their neighbor, Heather Graham said of the couple:

“They held hands and they always smiled, and he would open the door for her, all those things that you want from another person. They were really generous and nice to everybody. It’s just horrific.”

And another friend and neighbor, Michael Stepaniak, told the Tribune-Review:

“A loving couple and they’ve been together forever. I hope they didn’t suffer much and I miss them terribly.”

Joyce Fienberg:

According to her brother, Fienberg was a 75-year-old grandmother who loved her family.

Her brother, Bob Libman, told the CBC:

“[She was] the most amazing and giving person.”

For 25 years, Fienberg was also a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center.

Her colleagues described her on Facebook as “a cherished friend” and “an engaging, elegant, and warm person.”

The terroristic murders that took the lives of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue have appalled and saddened us. An…

Posted by Pitt Lrdc on Sunday, October 28, 2018

One added:

“She was very intellectual. But also people would just always open up to her in a very easy way. She was an ideal observer. … I just can’t say how terribly sad I am that this person isn’t in the world anymore.”

Richard Gottfried:

The 67-year-old and his wife owned a local dentistry together. The pair met while in school at the University of Pittsburgh, according to the Washington Post.

His sisters, Debi Salvin and Bonni Huffman, told NBC’s “Today” show:

“He was my baby brother.”

“He touched a lot of people and in all areas of his life. It just speaks to who he was. He loved his wife, he loved his family, and he loved life.”

Goffried was with his third sister at the synagogue when the gunman opened fire. Debi and Bonni said she is still too distraught to publicly talk about what she saw.

Watch the sisters’ full interview with “Today” below:

Irving Younger:

The 69-year-old was known for being a real estate agent and a coach for a local youth baseball and football team.

His neighbor described him as “the most wonderful dad and grandpa”:

“He went every day. He was an usher at his synagogue, and he never missed a day. He was a beautiful person, a beautiful soul.”

People from all over the country have been taking to social media to offer their condolences to the families of the above 11 victims.

Our hearts are with them as well.